Staying Hydrated This Festival Season
In part two of this survival kit, you can ensure a healthy and memorable time at your upcoming concert or festival.
Reviewed by: Sarah Hite, MSN, APRN, FNP-C
Written by: Kaylee Fang
As Central Texas continues to become home to some of the most popular live performances each year, many music lovers look forward to a memorable experience. Without proper preparation, your life-changing festival experience may be cut short. UT Health Austin Walk-in Clinic clinician, Sarah Hite, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, advises staying hydrated and healthy during this festival season.
Dehydration is caused by losing more fluid than what you take in. Dehydration can occur when you spend hours in the blazing heat and/or high humidity. When you aren’t properly hydrated, it can negatively impact how your body functions.
“On a daily basis, many people experience dehydration because we don’t drink enough fluids. So, at an event like Austin City Limits, it’s important to be aware of your hydration levels,” explains Sarah.
Dehydration commonly occurs when you are in areas of high heat and humidity. Since you are more physically active during concerts and festivals, you have a higher chance of becoming dehydrated. Your hydration levels are also based on what you eat and drink. Alcohol intake promotes diuresis, a condition where fluids increase the production of urine. A quick boost of caffeine may be convenient to keep up your energy levels, but it also increases fluid loss. Before you give in to your sweet cravings at the vendors at the festivals, consumption of sugar can also cause diuresis. Additionally, certain chronic health conditions and age are important factors to keep in mind when considering your hydration needs. Individuals living with diabetes are more likely to dehydrate because high blood sugar levels cause fluid loss. Other high-risk groups include:
- Older people
- Living with health conditions
- Participating in prolonged outdoor activities
The degree of dehydration symptoms can range from mild to extremely serious. Depending on the number of fluids lost, symptoms can vary. The most common symptoms of mild dehydration are:
- Feeling thirsty
- Dry mouth
- Dark color urine
- Strong smelling urine
- Urinating less often than normal
For infants, the most common symptoms of dehydration include:
- Sunken soft spot on their head
- Few or no tears when crying
- Less wet diapers
The best way to stay hydrated is to drink plenty of fluids. This can be water, diluted juice, and sugar-free sports drinks. Moderate your intake of sports drinks. Although they are filled with electrolytes, they contain a lot of sugar. Since sugar causes dehydration, a sports drink should not be the only fluid to consume.
“These days there are numerous electrolyte solutions and rehydration solutions available, so I would have these readily available, especially if you are bringing your children. Children need these even more than adults. In fact, children should not only be given water,” recommends Sarah.
Drinking fluids steadily throughout the day is the best way to stay hydrated.
“If you guzzle 2 bottles of water and then don’t drink for another 4 hours, that’s hard on the body. A steady intake of fluids is the best option,” advises Sarah.
Tips to Stay Hydrated
Stick to a Hydration Routine
Before attending live performances, make sure to hydrate with plenty of fluids. By keeping up with hydration early, you can go a long way. The best way to stay on top of hydration is to follow a routine. Always keep an eye on your fluid levels and aim to consume a certain amount each hour. You may have heard to consume at least 8 glasses of water per day. When you’re dancing and jumping constantly, you will need to add additional water/fluids throughout the day. Also, consider how much you sweat from the heat and the alcohol you drink when finding the right balance of hydration.
Pack Hydration Containers
Some events allow you to bring your own hydration containers, such as Austin City Limits (ACL). There are hydration stations throughout ACL, where you can refill water bottles for free. A water bottle, or other hydration container, is something you will want to add to your packing list. For more information on what items are acceptable to bring to the festival, check out the ACL Music Festival FAQs.
Fuel your body to keep up with the dancing and singing at concerts. It may be challenging to pass up all the greasy fried foods offered by vendors, but it’s important to get some nutrients in your body. If you can, consume water-rich fruits and vegetables. Foods such as melons, cucumbers, blueberries, and radishes, will provide hydration, antioxidants, and vitamin C for a vibrant health boost while soaking up the music. Your energy can easily be drained with all the activities during concerts, so consider consuming carbs to help boost energy. Your body converts carbohydrates to glucose, also referred to as blood sugar, which is then used as fuel. Carbohydrates can be found in peas, beans, whole grains, and vegetables.
Know Your Limits
From hanging out in the sun all day or walking around to various stages, know your limits. Knowing when your body might need a break will help resist the temptation to party all day and night. Try relaxing in the shade, sitting down to chat with your friends, or even taking a nap when needed.
Staying hydrated allows you to make, share, and cherish the memories you have from attending these fun-filled events. Stay tuned for the next part of UT Health Austin’s survival kit series to help you prepare for this festival season.
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